Sunday, January 11, 2009

Croatian Update #5

January 11, 2009 - Okay, here's another late one....this one is from a bit later in November....including the great shots from All Soul's Day....enjoy :)
hey there all...happy thanksgiving to those celebrating it....i am 
actually celebrating..we had a big thanksgiving dinner at school yesterday
and no...i did not have turkey...and no, they did not have tofurkey, but i 
did have some mashed potatoes, stuffing and the families got 
together and made many different desserts...we even had 
pumpkin pie in the
house...many people were very excited :)  today i am headed over to a
friend's place with 12 other folks...everyone is bringing their favorite 
dish from thanksgivings it should be a good time....

before i go any further...some folks have sent me emails asking for my 
mailing address this folks moved so the lancaster avenue address
is no longer available...and i am not headed to the states this year...
so if you are interested in sending a card...which i am very interested in
getting, please mail it to this address in 

American International School of Zagreb
Dani DiPietro
Vocarska 106
10000 Zagreb

if you are sending anything, be sure to take it out of packaging and that
it doesn't look super that possible???  if they think i am 
getting new expensive stuff in customs they charge me for usually
takes a week or so for flat mail to make all of you with kids and 
the traditional xmas/holday card....please send them for me, it
will be an electronic xmas/new years greeting per normal....but i promise
if you send me mail, i'll send you a postcard from my journey...

so on with the update...sorry it has been a while since the last 
many things....just after the last update i sent out it was halloween
and more importantly here all souls day...i have included some pictures
from both....we also had UN day in our school as well....there are  
pictures from that event as well....and i went to budapest with the middle
school speech and debate team...and they did really well :)

the pictures are as follows....the first shot is actually of street 
performer here in zagreb...he is in the main square every saturday and 
sometimes sunday with this musical organ grinder...all he 
needs to make the picture complete is a monkey on his shoulder....he's  
great and always tips his hat to the ladies....
from that picture we go to UN are a few of my fellow teachers, 
who are croats...i thought you might like to see some traditional colors
and costumes of the region i am living in...the first woman is vlatka...
she is my croatian teacher as well...and she is wearing a traditional 
costume for the fall harvest celebrations here...everything she is wearing 
is hers....she has some of the strongest pride in her country of all...she
is a great teacher because of that...the next three folks are also in 
traditional dress and colors...the woman on the left - adrienne is in a 
traditional costume from the island of rab...the man in the middle is in 
a traditional dancing costume from the mountains (josef) and the woman
on the right, deana is in the croat colors for the flag and the national
soccer was cool day where kids dressed in the traditional 
costumes of their native countries...i actually had red, white and blue on
and one little girl from the states came as a cowgirl...cute....

the next five shots are from the big cemetery i sent you pictures of 
before...its the biggest of zagreb and everyone in town comes to it on 
the day of all the night...we went at night so we could see
the thousands of candles in the cemetery....i have actually never seen so
many candles in one place in my life...we were there around 9pm...and the 
place was packed with people, flowers and candles....people go to 
celebrate the lives of dead family and friends...its a very cool thing to 
experience...and its somber...i couldn't get over all of the candles there
and the one section, where there are many around the crucifix, those are
for people not buried in the cemetery...they are in rememberence of people
who have died as well...i added one for my grandmother who passed away 
this past year....a purple one...i think she would have appreciated it...

the next shot is of some of the goofy folks i hang with...this was wasn't really a halloween was a super hero party
and it was crazy to see some of the creative costumes....these folks 
are other teachers...and we had a blast :)

the next few shots are from budapest...and the trip i took with the middle
school debate team...they did awesome...we took 10 kids...eight of them
made it into final rounds of the competitions...out for approx 55 kids 
competing...and we had one team take second for duet acting, one girl 
take 1st for an interpretation of her own speech, another girl take 
second for her interpretation of a published piece and the debate team 
placed first....but the best of all was when the ten kids took the best
sportsmanship exciting....the first shot is of the view from 
my hotel window...pretty spectacular, doncha think :) i also included a 
picture of the kids....then we took a night trip on the danube, and 
even though the pictures are a bit blurry, i think you can see just how
beautiful this city is at night....

the final two shots are back in zagreb...the first is one of my favorite
sculptures in the entire city....i think its of either a famous writer
or a famous politician...but i love that they have him leaning up against
the post...and there were roses on him for some reason this day when i
took the shot...and the final picture is me holding the candle that i 
dedicated for my grandmother on all souls day...

okay...that's all the news fit to print...i will be sending out one more
update before the holidays and am traveling to austria to get some things
and visit a xmas market...should be fun....i hope all is well with you
and drop me a line if you get the chance....

talk soon...happy thanksgiving again....

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